Glory to your coming that restored humankind to life.
(Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns of the Nativity)
Because of the shadows, we miss our brother’s face,
our sister’s gaze.
The pace of the crowd moves us forward.
If you reached out
to touch my garment, I would not feel.
This power departs us daily:
to see, to know.
O Brother, true human:
You reach where least expected.
These shadows flee; let us not retreat.
Come where we scarce have courage to go;
to make us whole.
What hope does everlasting life hold for us? It reminds us that this present fallen world is not all there is; soon we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new city, in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be fully and forever freed from all sin and will inhabit renewed, resurrection bodies in a renewed, restored creation. (New City Catechism)
When the door swings out and, face-to-face we realise
all our clutching life could only mimic, never be,
we shall not fall
for all our walking here has been stumbling.
Now we stumble –
for who wouldn’t, when wandering in cloud?
Then we shall move
in the fluency of union,
life itself again – no shadow –
and never will we grasp for knowing
that we are held
What else does Christ’s death redeem? Christ’s death is the beginning of the redemption and renewal of every part of fallen creation, as he powerfully directs all things for his own glory and creation’s good.
(New City Catechism)
Yet the cost went deeper than souls
and weathered the tree-trunks
and withered the whole.
The cost ate into friendship
and sucked all the marrow
from health and heart’s-ease.
So the victory’s deeper too
than our sin:
the redemption stretches vast across bowers
and sucks sin’s curse from earth’s veins.
Look on Him now: the one whom we’ve slain
in the truth which digs deep into soil
and restores the broken earth whole.
Why must the Redeemer be truly God? That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death. (New City Catechism)
too great to pay ourselves,
too far for us to reach,
too deeply in for blemished hands
to scrub or take away,
the Son –
the spotless and unblemished one –
appointed from the start of time
to take what human hands have wrought,
all suffering and shame.
the wrath is overcome,
is conquered with the Son’s bright rise.
the greatest battle’s won,
the impossible is done.
What sort of Redeemer is needed to bring us back to God?One who is truly human and also truly God.(New City Catechism)
Can both dwell in one body –
God and man,
torn asunder, the two
were somehow reconciled?
As far as east is from west:
the division of
holy and human
yet brought somehow together,
one man across the chasm.
From dust, yet glorious:
what does this
now tell of us
who say, To err is human,
and hide in this excuse?